Something Smells in San Diego

Oooh that smell; can't you smell that smell?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    UPDATE: As of 8 a.m. Thursday, San Diego Fire and Rescue has received no new calls regarding strange smells.

    A strange smell kept San Diego emergency operators busy Wednesday afternoon as dozens across the county called to report the odor.

    San Diego Fire and Rescue spokesman Maurice Luque said that, beginning at about 2 p.m., people complained of an obnoxious, sweet smell that resembled lighter fluid, kerosene, petroleum or a fabric softener.

    "We got calls as far north as the Del Mar Heights area, along the beach area -- La Jolla, Pacific Beach," Luque said. "Some from the downtown area, Hillcrest, and a lot of calls from the University City area."

    No one reported being ill.

    Still, as a precaution, multiple fire station crews were dispatched to the areas that had the highest concentration of calls, attempting to find the smell's source.

    One crew checked with University City's water treatment facility employees to see if there were any gas-related issues, but the facility reported no irregularities.

    Last year, San Diego residents complained of a sulfur-like smell, Luque said.

    The source turned out to be rotten vegetation, caused by low tides and high humidity.

    "Unless there's more definititve information, we can't have crews just constantly roaming around, trying to find something that seems to be so widespread that it's all over the city," Luque said. "We'll just have to wait and see if there are any reports that come in that are more definitive in terms of where the source might be, and we'll check it out."